Best Intermediate Mountain Bike Rides in Crested Butte
So you have yourself a mountain bike and you want to make the famed trek out to Crusty Butt to shred some trail gnar? Don't be afraid- a lot of people say that all of the bike rides in Crested Butte are XTREME but I found 3 really fun rides that were totally within my skill level. I am definitely an unimpressive intermediate biker and, although I had to walk some parts of these trails, I found them super enjoyable and also improved my biking.
If you have a weekend in Crested Butte I highly recommend you ride these trails even if you consider yourself an expert super cool gnar biker. I was with a couple of those cats and they loved these trails too. These trials are super quality and if you are in the area with some wheeled suspension, you have to ride them.
1) 401 Trail
No surprise here! This trail is super well known and for good reason. I highly recommend setting up a shuttle for the road- it's a long slog on a dirt road and the trail accent is plenty of incline in my opinion. Once you make it to the top, prepare for the alpine ride of your dreams! Mostly flowy with a few technical sections this trail is incredible. High quality riding but the scenery is what really makes it special.
Here is all the info on the 401 trail you will need. It is 14.1 miles if you bike the road and about 8 if you shuttle. The climb on the trail isn't technically difficult but it will give your lungs a workout as it is steep and you climb to 11,335 feet elevation.
2) Strand Hill
Strand hill is a fun relatively quick ride with a steep accent on a road and fun single track downhill. It is 7.5 miles round trip but only 874 feet of gain. I walked a lot of the uphill but not because it was technical- just steep. I also walked a few sections on the downhill but that was mostly due to the conditions. Right when we reached the top of this ride it started to pour! We waited it out a bit in the woods before we finished the ride and the trail was a muddy slick mess for a lot of it! I think if the trail had been dry this ride would have been within my skill set. Here is all the info on Strand Hill.
3) Doctor Park
What a crazy ride! If you are an intermediate biker there will definitely be some sections of this beyond your skill level- but the rest of the trail is so fun it's totally worth it! This is another trail where I really recommend a shuttle. You can shuttle the road section and drive across the river. This will save you miles on Spring Creek Road and keep you dry. You will still have to ride up a 4 wheel drive road that gets pretty steep. You still earn your ride even if you shuttle Spring Creek Road. Find more details on the shuttle and trail here.
Doctor Park is a crazy trial because it is like 3 trails in one! You start with some pretty techy decent in the alpine forest (I walked several sections in this part). The middle is insanely fun, flowy, easy trail with pretty low grade, and you finish with a steep sandy technical section. Such a cool ride! It's a bit out of Crested Butte so it this on your way home.
Bike on bikers!